Need a quick fix for a dinner for two – that’s more dark romance than bubblegum pink? Follow this simple plan. These romantic dinner ideas are worthy of any evening that’s full of atmosphere. It helps if your space already has a unique vibe. This flat is tiny but super chic, filled with antiques, art, books and gorgeous new and vintage fabric.
First step – keep the menu super simple – it’s the setting that will make the evening special. Stop off at your local grocery for key ingredients – including some pre-made dinner items – and a bouquet of flowers.
We went for the deepest, darkest red roses we could find for our moody Valentine’s Day celebration.
Stash anything you don’t need for the evening and do a quick fluff of your living space.
Then it’s off to the dining room to start setting the mood. We’re going for dark romance, a bit broody – more Jane Eyre than Bridget Jones. So for added effect, we placed the roses in a glass cloche on the dining table.
The dining room walls are covered with Boho Luxe Home’s ethereal floral peel and stick wallpaper in Bryony Storm Dorian. The grays and purples definitely set the scene for moody romance. The table is layered with a tablecloth made from matching fabric.
A vintage kantha quilt is thrown over a chair back for added warmth, and a tasseled velvet pillow adds layers to the decadence. The back wall is painted with washes of paint.
Add even more visual interest with moody accents like butterflies under glass, torn rose petals – or any other small, evocative items you can steal from another room.
Romantic Dinner Ideas — The romance is in the details.
We plucked these butterflies off a wall in the living room – then scattered rose petals stems and red cherries!
Next, we whipped up a not-too-sweet cocktail in the kitchen using bourbon, muddled cherries, strawberries and cherry and chocolate extracts.
Yum. It’s a Cherry Chocolate Bourbon Soda. Our recipe is a simplified version of the gorgeous, all-handmade version on Katie at the Kitchen Door. Katie made her own cherry syrup and cherry vanilla soda from scratch. We aspire to be Katie – but in the interest of time we modified this for a quick, easy, after work cocktail.
We did chop up some luscious strawberries and pitted a few fresh cherries to muddle. The fresh fruit made all the difference. Here’s our recipe:
Cherry Chocolate Bourbon Sodas (serves 2)
2 ounces Bourbon (we used Maker’s Mark)
3 ounces Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1/2 teaspoon Chocolate Extract
1 tablespoon Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
1 teaspoon Tart Cherry Extract
2 medium Strawberries
5 pitted Cherries
Creme Soda to taste
Muddle cherries and strawberries in the bottom of the shaker. Fill shaker with ice. Add bourbon, chocolate liqueur, tart cherry extract, chocolate extract and chocolate syrup. Shake. Strain if desired. (We let some of the fruit chunks slip in!) Pour into glass. Top with creme soda. Stir. Toss in a strawberry slice and a whole cherry and garnish with fruit. Yum!
This is so dessert-like that you may decide to wait until after dinner to enjoy it. We made it early and sipped through dinner prep – because life is short and we needed cocktails! (Full disclosure – we made another batch for dessert!!)
Our dinner was a selection of grilled veggies from the deli counter at the grocery, served with a store-bought Thai Peanut Sauce. If you’re more ambitious, feel free to go crazy here. We wanted simple and easy – a casual evening that still felt special.
The glittery charger adds a special touch. After dinner, our dessert was a simple bowl of cherries and strawberries…(drizzlee with a bit of orange liqueur)…
…plus some heart-shaped cookies from the bakery and those yummy cherry chocolate bourbon sodas…
Here’s a swatch of our dark romance wallpaper:
The pattern is called Bryony Storm and the colorway is Dorian. The pattern is inspired by the tendrils of white bryony that grow wild in hedgerows in England. It definitely conjures up a feeling of British rain and fog.
Is there anything moodier? Or more romantic?
The Bryony Storm fabric in a second colorway called Noir is used to cover a vintage settee in the living room as well. Other pieces include a darkly romantic, feathery art piece on metal, a luxurious velvet pillow featuring a large purple tassel, an acrylic coffee table, and an elegant vintage painting.
That’s it. Simple and sweet. Keep your Valentine’s Day celebration stress-free with these intriguing, romantic dinner ideas and spend the evening making cocktails, discussing poetry and remembering why you fell in love in the first place.
Here’s where to shop the look if you’d like to create your own moody space for dark romance.